Page 40 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 24

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32
J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
Niger’s absence is being felt in Yiddish literature , since no other
critic has as yet assumed his un ique au thoritative role.
Niger's Books of Li terary Criticism
Four books from Niger’s pen, published posthumously, are
among the impo rtan t works tha t have enriched Yiddish criticism
during the decade since his death:
Yiddishe Shreiber in Sovet-
Russland
(Yiddish Writers in the Soviet Union), compiled by
H . Leivick (New York, S. Niger Book Committee of the Congress
for Jewish Culture, 1958);
B letter Geshikhte fun der Yiddisher
L iteratur
(Studies in the History of Yiddish Literature), com­
piled and published as above (New York, 1959);
K r itik un
K ritiker
(Criticism and Critics), compiled by the au tho r from
two of his previous books on these subjects, with add itional
material never before published in book form (Buenos Aires,
Argentinian Section of the Congress for Jewish Culture, 1959);
Sholem Ash, Zain Lebn , Zaine Verk
(Sholem Asch, His Life and
His Works), compiled by Melekh Ravitch, w ith a bibliography
by Ephim H. Jeshurin (New York, S. Niger Book Committee of
the Congress for Jewish Culture, 1960).
Since Yiddish literature is no t a territoria l bu t a world lite ra­
ture, the progress of Yiddish literary criticism du ring the decade
since Niger’s death can best be illustrated by a review dealing
with Yiddish criticism the world over. At this po in t it should
be noted tha t the State of Israel, the center of Hebrew literature ,
has also become a great center of Yiddish literature , and many
Yiddish authors, living elsewhere, prefer to have the ir books
published in Te l Aviv, both for sentimental and for financial
reasons.
T rue , Yiddish literature is multi-centered, bu t its principal
center is in the United States. I t is, therefore, no t surprising tha t
the bulk of Yiddish criticism during the past decade was written
by authors residing in this country. Shlomo Bickel and Yaakov
Glatshtein, both of whom have reached the age of seventy in
1966, are among the most prolific Yiddish critics in America. In
addition to regular book reviews or lengthier evaluations of
specific writers, they have published more books than any o ther
practitioners in the field of literary criticism. Bickel’s books
include:
Shraiber fun Main Dor
(vol. 1, New York, 1958; vol. 2,
T e l Aviv, 1965), essays dealing almost exclusively w ith the
“Writers of My Generation” ; and
Rum enyeh
(Buenos Aires,
1961), containing essays on the historic and sp iritual develop­
ment of Rum an ian Jewry, critical portraits of its writers and
recollections of the au thor who was born in Austrian Galicia